I'm starting a separate thread for this, as I think it's going to generate some interest. It seems to have had three previews already, so I am guessing there will be some discussion here soon. Lynn Nottage is a brilliant writer, and Lynette Linton's appointment to run the Bush perhaps adds to the interest focused on this production.
Fairly broad reaction after seeing this yesterday: quite a middle of the road production for me. Lots and lots of talking but nothing new in terms of the thinking behind it and overall it felt quite slow. It’s just redrawing the industrial decline in the West and what that may look like for the working class. A subject that could be interesting is talked to death. Specially detested the overly didactic ending. The acting was ok, it just didn’t really come alive. I wouldn’t say don’t go but don’t expect to be more than mildly entertained. Hope the next one at the Donmar will be more exciting.
OK first half is a lot of building storyline and characters and you get to half time and don't really feel much has happened. Second half comes alive almost straight away and pretty much keeps on going until the end.
The play raises quite a number of issues regarding the downturn in american life for working class people and shows both the causes of and reactions to the situation (I can see here why it won a pulitzer).
But for me the real beauty is in how I relate this to us here in the UK. Not just now and the dreaded 'B' word but historically, the industrial neglect of the north, miners in south wales.
As in the play, you see us fighting against those around us who might be a bit different, who may have come from abroad, blaming people who are just doing the same as us and trying to survive rather than blaming the real culprits. I fully empathise with the newly promoted manager, having worked in a big multi-national bank I've seen managers trying to justify decisions made way above them.
At the moment we are losing our way with brexit, our government seems to be more focused on their own infighting than dealing with the real issues. Perhaps the Donmar should do a special showing of this just for them. Although they may need to get someone to explain a number of the points as some of them are a bit thick. (sorry got a bit ranty there).
Would agree that a bit of the finale is a bit of overkill but it does emphasise the question on who gets hurt when we fight amongst ourselves.
Overall a game of two halves but boy what a second half. Plenty to think on if you like that sort of thing. Struggling not to give this 5 out of 5.
Well I have to say I thought this was pretty tremendous after seeing the matinee today.
I've wanted to see a Lynn Nottage play for a fair while but somehow never have. I found her writing to be really impressive, it's so rare I think to hear 'natural' sounding dialogue on stage rather than dialogue which is exposition or character building that it seems startling at first. It's very cleverly weaved together with the necessary building blocks for the story in this. It doesn't as noted cover any new ground but with the current issues both at home and abroad (say no more!) it feels very vital and alive. Also given the time frame of the play, it highlights that nothing that's happening now is unprecedented or truly unfamiliar.
I don't think there was a weak link in the cast, I thought they were all superb but special mention must go to Clare Perkins who probably has the most difficult role and slays it quite frankly. And I must disclose my bias for Martha Plimpton who can do no wrong in my opinion and should have a mantel full of awards by now.
I'm not sure I get the dislike mentioned above for the ending, it felt dramatically tidy if cliche, I wonder how else things could have gone though?
The set is functional without being anything special. It runs 2 hours 30 minutes, the wonderfully helpful signs give you precise timings of 1 hour 13 minutes for Act 1, and 1 hour 1 minute for Act 2. Clearly someone is being a little pedantic somewhere in the Donmar!
Obviously any trip into London's 'glitzy' West End at this time of year is fraught with the risk of contact with the seething masses. And indeed today did not disappoint with everybody and their brother frantically charging about, however the Stupid Dial had only been set to 8 for the most part.
Glad you enjoyed it, missthelma; I was also at yesterday's matinee but you seem to have covered just about everything!
I found it long, intense and engaging, though I did think the very last part of the ending went too far. Without spoiling it for those yet to see this, one of the two developments would have sufficed imo. And unlike you, I had no idea who any of the cast were, but I prefer it that way as then nothing gets in the way of seeing them as the characters.
Oh, i thought this was just phenomenal. I’m really surprised that Oslo beat it to the Tony (although even more pleased that A Doll’s House Part 2 didn’t win, because that would have been an utter travesty) and not surprised at all that it won the Pulitzer. It was a beautifully constructed play, tackling complex American issues of race, class, deindustrialisation and nationalisation. It made me despair for both that country and this one, because I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. And the acting was great. Some minor accent wobbles, but overall very good.
Post by Phantom of London on Dec 28, 2018 0:30:22 GMT
I thought this is an incredible stunning play.
Funnily enough the play reminded me of the brilliant Laure Wade’s Posh, except the social situation is juxtaposition. I agree with Parsley that the acting is stunning. Could Lynn Nottage be the female August Wilson? I hope so.
I am still reeling from this 2 hours later, as it is mind bending brilliant, although written 2-3 years ago, but this play speaks of today and ‘inward’ America. Plays like this could make America great again.
This will transfer and hope we see more of Lynn Nottage.
After watching this tonight, and the Donmar really has got a little gem of a play here. As a complete theatrical package, this ticks all the boxes for me. A fantastic piece of writing which doesn’t shy away from dealing with the subject matter of the human impact of job losses on communities. The writing was brought to life by a terrific cast which really made me care about the characters they portrayed on stage. There are have been a few duds at the Donmar recently, but when they get it right, they hit the mark. This is easily a 5* production and a great start to the 2019 programme.
For 2hrs I was totally engrossed in the play and as others have stated and which I totally agree with is totally relevant in today’s political and economic climate in the U.S.
If you’ve been lucky enough to get a ticket, your in for a great night.